According to UNICEF, the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Eritrea is 89%. Terre des Femmes notes that 90% of girls are cut before or at the age of 4. In almost 60% of the cases, FGM/C is performed by traditional practitioners. It is also common that FGM/C is performed by inexperienced persons close to the girl, such as neighbours, grandmothers or even the girl’s own mother. Only in a very low number of cases FGM/C is performed by medical staff under hygienic conditions.
Eritrea is a multicultural country, thus FGM/C may be practised for different reasons, in different forms at different times depending on the practising family’s ethnicity, social status, region, education and religion. However, the main motive for performing FGM/C is social acceptance. Other reasons for justifying FGM/C include the beliefs that it is more hygienic, preserves virginity, is prescribed by religion and ensures fertility.
Eritrea passed legislation banning FGM/C in 2007. Eritrea acceded to the ICESCR in 2001, to CEDAW in 1995, ratified the CRC in 1994 acceded to the Banjul Charter in 1999.
See also 28 Too Many’s country profile on Eritrea.
We have no Anti-FGM/C Organisations in Eritrea, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.
We have no FGM/C Country of Origin Expert for Eritrea, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.